Bangkok Bank is pleased to announce that its trade finance service via Contour has broken through the limitations of traditional transactions by sending fast, accurate Letters of Credit via enterprise blockchain between Thai businesses and partners in Vietnam and Oman. With Contour all transactions are digital, enhancing efficiency, simplifying costs and saving time for both importers and exporters. The bank also joined with leading international banks to provide Cross Bank Blockchain transactions to provide even better international trade services to customers.
Bangkok Bank was the first Thai bank to join with leading global banks and organizations to establish Contour in early 2020 to provide trade finance services. Contour uses Distributed Ledger Technology, or enterprise blockchain, to enhance and digitize the entire trade finance process to make it faster and more efficient. The first successful Letter of Credit (L/C) transaction on the Contour network between a Bangkok Bank branch in Hanoi and Bangkok Bank in Thailand occurred in August last year, reducing the total time it took to open a L/C to less than one hour.
Bangkok Bank Executive Vice President Pipat Assamongkol said the bank is continually developing trade finance services via Contour to break through the limitations of traditional trade finance transactions. The most recent success extends the bank's collaboration with leading local and global banks to facilitate Cross Bank Blockchain transactions on the Contour network to three major customers. The bank collaborated with SCG Chemicals, a manufacturer of petrochemical products under SCG Group, and GC Marketing Solutions Limited, the chemical flagship of PTT Group under GC Group, to facilitate their L/C transactions with their partners via leading local banks in Vietnam. The bank also joined with Pacific Containerbag Co., Ltd. to facilitate the company's transactions with corporate partners in Oman, opening and receiving L/C, supporting both import and export customers.
L/C transactions on the Contour network using the enterprise blockchain platform enables customers to seamlessly make digital transactions for the entire process. This enables trade partners to see real-time information, ensuring that the transaction is fast, transparent and at a lower cost when compared with traditional paper-based transactions. These types of transactions reflect current and future requirements for trade finance to be both fast and secure.
"Our continuous development of financial technology has proven that we can introduce practical innovations. Contour enterprises blockchain revolutionizes traditional trade finance providing customers with modern services using cutting edge technology. It also reduces the time and cost associated with traditional security measures while retaining the excellent services of the Bank's international trade experts. Contour is a good blend between financial technology and the international trade business."
Mr. Pipat said the success of the transaction and excellent feedback from customers who have made L/C transactions on the Contour network gives the bank confidence that it is ready to provide full commercial services in the next phase.
"Services using blockchain technology will be an important step in upgrading and strengthening Bangkok Bank's international trade services. It is an alternative way to make international trade transactions that will increase the competitiveness of business customers and meet the needs of overseas trade partners who want to adopt blockchain in their transactions. Bangkok Bank as a trusted partner is ready to help customers achieve success and compete in the global market," said Mr. Pipat.
Mr. Thammasak Sethaudom, Vice President of Finance and Investment and CFO at SCG said, "SCG is committed to integrating blockchain technology into our services to enhance efficiency and competitiveness for our organization and our trade partners. Joining with Bangkok Bank has enabled us to make end-to-end L/C transactions on the Contour network with our two clients in Vietnam, Sai Gon Plastic Chemical Joint Stock Company and OPEC Plastics Joint Stock Company via Military Commercial Joint Stock Bank (MBBank). The new technology not only shortened the processes of opening an L/C from 3 days to 50 minutes, but also reduced the paper consumption by half and offered increased security."
Mr. Thitipol Artsanchorn, Managing Director, GC Marketing Solutions Company Limited (GCM) said, "Blockchain technology can lead to new opportunities and benefit businesses. GCM's mission is to improve our operational efficiencies and deliver results that go beyond customer expectations. By adopting blockchain technology and the Contour network, GCM, Bangkok Bank, and our Vietnamese partner successfully facilitated an electronic L/C issuance quickly and securely. GCM aims to provide greater service efficiencies and value to emerge as a Preferred Polymer Solution Partner for sustainable growth."
Mr. Prinya Manatsathit, Managing Director, Pacific Containerbag Co., Ltd. said, "Our company is very glad to join Bangkok Bank in testing their L/C process using blockchain technology. It's the first step in using modern technology to enhance the efficiency of the company's international financial transactions. The transactions take less time, cost less and provide security and transparency that all relevant parties can see in real-time."